Travel With Sara

Abilene, Kansas: The Dickinson County Heritage Center

The Dickinson County Heritage Center is a hidden treasure in Abilene, Kansas. I was recently introduced to Abilene and instantly fell in love with this welcoming community. When you hear the words heritage museum, you are most likely thinking boredom.Well, think again! I can guarantee that you will enjoy yourself while strolling through this treasure.

Most of you have smart phones and carry them everywhere you go. Due to the fact that we live in a time where we are all fascinated with telephones, I know you will appreciate what this museum has to offer.

History of the telephone

The history of the telephone is on display in this off the beaten path museum in Abilene. I was intrigued and fascinated to learn that many youth of today do not know how to dial a telephone. It all made sense, when I thought about it. I love the fact that visitors can use a traditional rotary phone and “pretend” to make a call. How fun is this?

Rotary Telephones

This museum takes things back a step further to the days of the telephone operator and more. Experience what it was like to connect a call with a mixture of wires.

Dickinson County Heritage Museum

It’s mind boggling to think that in a relatively short period of time, we have evolved into using smart phones.

Abilene is home to the world famous Chisholm Trail. The museum is home to several items and stories from the days that the cattle were driven through this Kansas town.

saddles Chisholm Trail

2017 is special, as the Chisholm Trail is celebrating 150 years. 

Once you have explored the indoor museum, step outdoors into a whole new world that showcases Kansas heritage. The highlight of the outdoor area is the 1901 C.W. Parker Carousel.


I took a ride on the carousel in Sandusky, Ohio a few months back and it felt good to get back on a horse in Abilene. Here’s a little tip, when you enter the museum be sure to add on the small additional charge to ride the carousel; as it’s worth the additional 2 dollars. Where else can you take a step back in time and relive a fun thing of your childhood?

Plan to spend a minimum of two hours here on a typical day. During special events, double that. This museum is one that will keep you and your family busy.Do you have a relative that attended school in a one room school house, as I do?

schoolhouse abilene

Take a few steps back in time, enjoy all the history that Dickinson County has to offer. If you are lucky on the day you visit, you will have the opportunity to see a group of ladies quilting. These ladies concentrated, smiled and shared their love of quilting with me. Who knows? Maybe someday I will take up quilting. At this point in my life, I don’t have time to take on a project like this.

ladies quilting Abilene Kansas

I love how Dickinson County has embraced the history of this area of Kansas, as it has something for every visitor that walks through their doors. I promise you, you will not be bored on your visit. Don’t be afraid to make a few telephone calls and ask questions of how the switchboards used to work. Most importantly, be sure to visit the other historical sites around Abilene and take it all in. The Eisenhower Presidential Library Museum and Boyhood Home are literally across the yard from this museum.

I loved my visit to Abilene, Kansas and can’t wait to share more with you. The history, people and the activities kept me hopping all day long.

*Thank you to Visit Abilene, Kansas and the Dickinson County Heritage Museum for hosting me.

Thanks for the share!
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13 thoughts on “Abilene, Kansas: The Dickinson County Heritage Center

  1. Sol Solntze

    To be honest, I am actually very likely to run towards rather than away from the words ‘heritage museum’ especially one as wide ranging and interactive as this one. Love the live action quilting!

  2. Linger Abroad

    Interestingly enough, this is the second time I’ve read about Dickinson County Heritage Center. Lot of interesting history of the 1800s/1900s. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the Parker Carousel is a national landmark. Anyways, that’s a pretty cool visit

  3. SaraB Post author

    Great thought. I do wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think of telephones today.

  4. neha

    It looks so beautifully done and interesting. Particularly the museum seems to be of great interest. And it feels so good to see a piece of heritage and culture being preserved so beautifully

  5. Sandy N Vyjay

    The Dickinson County Heritage Center looks really fascinating. The museum at Abilene showcasing the history of telephone looks so interesting. The smart phone generation can scarce believe the existence of the rotary phones. I always think how excited Alexander Graham Bell would have been on hearing the first ring of the telephone.

  6. SaraB Post author

    Dorothy and Toto are actually in a museum approximately two hours away, in another part of Kansas.

  7. barb

    I have heard many things about Kansas. This heritage center looks like a fascinting place to visit. I feel like I should plan a trip to Kansas!

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